Former Indonesian President Yudhoyono cancels trip to Australia

Former Indonesian President Yudhoyono cancels trip to Australia

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Dr. Yudhoyono has decided to cancel his visit to Perth, but will deliver his speech through a video recording."
Perth (ANTARA News) - Former Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has cancelled his plan to visit Perth, Australia.

He cited concern for security ahead of the execution of two Australian drug convicts on death row, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, as the reason for the cancellation.

SBY, as the former president is often called, was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the "In the Zone" leadership forum on Friday, May 1, organized by the University of Western Australia (UWA).

"Dr. Yudhoyono has decided to cancel his visit to Perth, but will deliver his speech through a video recording," Rector of UWA Professor Paul Johnson was quoted as saying on the official website of the university on Tuesday.

The "In the Zone" forum was initiated to reinforce ideas and understanding of economic cooperation and diplomatic relations between Australia and its neighbors in the region, including Indonesia, Johnson pointed out.

"In the Zone" deepens the cooperation between policy stakeholders in Australia and various cities in Asia. The forum is a platform where Perth and Australias western states can share their vision for the Asia-Pacific region.

This year, the event was held in Singapore (on April 13) and will be held in Perth on May 1.

Sukumaran and Chan, who were leaders of the Bali Nine drug ring, are among the nine drug convicts to be executed soon.

The other convicts facing execution are Raheem Agbaje Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwaolise alias Mustofa, and Okwudili Oyatanze from Nigeria; Zainal Abidin from Indonesia; Rodrigo Gularte from Brazil; Martin Anderson alias Belo from Ghana; and Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso from the Philippines.

Moreover, French citizen Serge Areski Atlaoui has escaped the second round of executions as a judicial review of his case is ongoing at the State Administrative Court (PTUN).

Spokesman for the Attorney Generals Office (AGO) Tony Tribagus Spontana stressed here on Monday that the delay in Atlaouis execution was not due to pressure from the French government.

"It is not because of pressure from the French president," he affirmed.

Challenging his death sentence, the Frenchman filed a review petition just before the April 23 deadline.

"He registered the review petition in the last minute, just before the deadline of 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 23," Spontana stated.

As the AGO respects the legal process, it has decided to exclude Atlaoui from the list of convicts to be executed, he added.

If the PTUN rejects his appeal, he will be executed as planned, he noted.

All the convicts have already been moved to the isolation rooms of the Nusakambangan prison in Central Java ahead of their execution.
(Uu.E012/H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

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